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Zip texturing or static grass?

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Zip texturing or static grass?
Posted by Alexander on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 9:21 PM

Hey everyone,

I have been doing some digging and have found that zip texturing and static grass both look fairly good. To be honest I'd be willing to pay the extra buck for a static grass applicator (preferably a cheaper DIY one) (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v5o2l5EaeNE) but would zip texturing yield better results?

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 12:24 PM

They are two completely different steps in the same process.  You need some sort of ground texture, regardless of how you make it.  That is then painted and coverered with things like turf, ground foam and static grass.

I use Gypsolite for my base.  I tint the plaster light brown and mix it thin, like a slurry.  When it dries, I apply a green wash with acrylic craft paint in an irregular camouflage pattern.  Then, I apply static grass.  I have a number of bags of grass in different lengths and shades.  I blend some and use patchworks of shades, all trying for a more natural look.  I don't have a golf course on my layout.

I use one of those low-budget Gras-Tech static grass applicator and it works just fine.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 2:42 PM

I have some recollection that when static grass was a new concept and technology (and not commercially supported as it is now) it was sometimes called "zap texturing."

Zip texturing was a superior method to what came before it.  Now, static grass can capture effects that zip texturing cannot -- but the reverse is true, so in certain situation zip texturing still has a place.  One example would be one that Linn Westcott himself used when he introduced zip texturing and that is they way dirt and vegetation tend to cling to otherwise rough surfaces such as rocky hillsides.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, July 16, 2017 12:10 PM

There are new ways to do zip texturing. My way (developed because I couldn't get the powder into a sharp corner) involves wetting the plaster and using a super soft brush to put the powder on the area and then lightly misting it. Rock solid and fool proof (unless you are like me once after I had done it many times with successs, I didn't prewet the area well enough turned out to be the problem). I then go back with stratic grass where needed or other ground covers.

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Posted by NYBW-John on Sunday, July 16, 2017 1:18 PM

Alexander

Hey everyone,

I have been doing some digging and have found that zip texturing and static grass both look fairly good. To be honest I'd be willing to pay the extra buck for a static grass applicator (preferably a cheaper DIY one) (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v5o2l5EaeNE) but would zip texturing yield better results?

 

I recently purchased a static grass applicator but have yet to try it. I've used zip texturing for decades on two  layouts. It yields excellent results. It really depends on the look you are going for. For me zip texturing is just the first layer of scenery. You can use it to simulate dirt, low growing grass, moss, etc. Unless I am applying it to rocky ledges, I'll add more layers of undergrowth. Weeds, brush, etc. Static grass looks like the answer if you want to simulate tall, unmanicured grass. I want to go for that look in a small branchline yard. I am basing it on a photo I saw a number of years ago on just such a yard on the NYOW. I want to have knee high grass between the yard tracks. In other areas of the layout I've used ground foam to simulate overgrown weeds in such areas but I wanted to try something different on this last phase of my layout.

Of course there is no rule that says you can't do both. In recent years it has become a trend on golf courses to leave areas unmaintained  that  are for the most part out of play.  Usually only the wildest of shot will find these areas (good luck finding your ball if you do stray there). They call these wildlife areas but the real purpose is to cut down maintenance costs. The less grass they have to mow, the less groundskeepers they need to hire.  We golfers often refer to these areas as the elephant grass. By the end of summer the grass has grown so high it starts to layover. Within these tall grass areas you will see weeds sprouting up among the grass. Mixing in some ground foam here and there within the static grass could simulate such an unkempt area.    

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, July 16, 2017 3:27 PM

There's a how-to HERE on building a static grass applicator.

Wayne

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  • From: Dyer, IN
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Posted by m sharp on Sunday, July 16, 2017 3:51 PM
I thought static grass was what I am looking for, but for some reason, the grass just lays down on the water/glue mixture on the ground surface. I'll keep trying, because I like the results most everyone else gets. Mike
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Posted by JoeinPA on Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:29 PM

m sharp
I thought static grass was what I am looking for, but for some reason, the grass just lays down on the water/glue mixture on the ground surface. I'll keep trying, because I like the results most everyone else gets. Mike
 

Mike;

How close to the surface are you holding the static applicator? If you are too far away you will get the results you are observing. Also, I would try using full strength glue or even 1:1 glue water.

Joe

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:31 PM

This is a "textured" surface:

I used Gypsolite, a gritty plaster.  Since its natural color is gray, I tinted it with brown acrylic craft paint.  When it was dry, I added a pattern of green with a wash of the same kind of paint.  Then, I added ground foam and plaster castings of rocks and boulders:

Next, I added tall grasses and began the first of several pours of Envirotex Lite epoxy resin for the water:

Finally, I applied the static grass:

You can see how each layer of this approach adds different details and textures, which produces an overall scene far richer than you could get with any single technique.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Alexander on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 9:06 AM
Thanks! You're right it was foolish of me to ask which is the greater of two glories.
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Posted by CRIP 4376 on Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:44 PM

I plan to use both methods.  Ken Patterson made a static grass applicator on his "What's Neat" from an electronic bug swatter and a metal strainer.  I picked up a swatter at Harbor Freight for less than $3 and later on they were giving them free with the purchase of anything else.

Ken Vandevoort

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